Which is a harder hsc subject physics or chemistry? (1 Viewer)

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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I wanna know what to chose for my double degree with bio. I’ve chem in high school. But physics is in high demand. So idk if it’s too hard for me to learn in uni.
 

ExtremelyBoredUser

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I have a friend who's doing physics as a major and from what I've heard, the physics you do in university doesn't reflect the physics you learn in the HSC course. You have to be really competent in mathematics as well, up to 4U capability as well as extremely dedicated to the craft itself. I really doubt you can just slap on physics as a complementary degree, everyone I've seen done or had did a physics degree has shared the same experience of having to dedicate a lot of time and effort to doing good in the course,, like the degree was the main component for them but they've all said it was worth it. I'm not sure if its wise to choose the degree just as a filler for doing a double degree. Maybe a minor would be more optimal?

Not to say you shouldn't do it but I don't think choosing a degree on a subject you haven't done on the basis of its "employability" or "demand" is the right way to go considering the debt and everything. Not saying you couldn't do it, if you find the same passion for physics as biology then I guess your good lol.
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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I have a friend who's doing physics as a major and from what I've heard, the physics you do in university doesn't reflect the physics you learn in the HSC course. You have to be really competent in mathematics as well, up to 4U capability as well as extremely dedicated to the craft itself. I really doubt you can just slap on physics as a complementary degree, everyone I've seen done or had did a physics degree has shared the same experience of having to dedicate a lot of time and effort to doing good in the course,, like the degree was the main component for them but they've all said it was worth it. I'm not sure if its wise to choose the degree just as a filler for doing a double degree. Maybe a minor would be more optimal?

Not to say you shouldn't do it but I don't think choosing a degree on a subject you haven't done on the basis of its "employability" or "demand" is the right way to go considering the debt and everything. Not saying you couldn't do it, if you find the same passion for physics as biology then I guess your good lol.
Ah I see so it would be too difficult
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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I have a friend who's doing physics as a major and from what I've heard, the physics you do in university doesn't reflect the physics you learn in the HSC course. You have to be really competent in mathematics as well, up to 4U capability as well as extremely dedicated to the craft itself. I really doubt you can just slap on physics as a complementary degree, everyone I've seen done or had did a physics degree has shared the same experience of having to dedicate a lot of time and effort to doing good in the course,, like the degree was the main component for them but they've all said it was worth it. I'm not sure if its wise to choose the degree just as a filler for doing a double degree. Maybe a minor would be more optimal?

Not to say you shouldn't do it but I don't think choosing a degree on a subject you haven't done on the basis of its "employability" or "demand" is the right way to go considering the debt and everything. Not saying you couldn't do it, if you find the same passion for physics as biology then I guess your good lol.
Just to clarify It’s not a double degree. My degree allows me to chose 2 major sciences
 
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tito981

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I dont recommend it if you are not already doing well in maths ext 2
 

dasfas

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If you're concerned about employability, biochemistry is more employable and more desirable than both chemistry and biology. The skills are really translatable into pretty much any biology laboratory.

Physics is not super employable as not many companies actively seek out a physics major. However, those that do, typically finance companies, do so because they believe that people who study quantitative degrees are smart, and can be trained to do pretty much anything. These quantitative degrees include mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering, computer science. This is also top tech companies' (eg. Google) hiring philosophy - hire smart people who may/may not have the requisite degree and train them to do the job you want.

So I wouldn't go in a physics major because it's in "high demand". Physics is probably one of the hardest majors at Uni and there are far higher demand majors that you can do that require less work eg. computer science.
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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Are you planning to study biochemistry?
Idk if my course has that
So I’m gonna do bachelor of science pathway to secondary teaching. It gets me to major in 2 sciences.
So I’m obviously gonna go with biology, but for my second science I’m choosing between chemistry or physics
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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If you're concerned about employability, biochemistry is more employable and more desirable than both chemistry and biology. The skills are really translatable into pretty much any biology laboratory.

Physics is not super employable as not many companies actively seek out a physics major. However, those that do, typically finance companies, do so because they believe that people who study quantitative degrees are smart, and can be trained to do pretty much anything. These quantitative degrees include mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering, computer science. This is also top tech companies' (eg. Google) hiring philosophy - hire smart people who may/may not have the requisite degree and train them to do the job you want.

So I wouldn't go in a physics major because it's in "high demand". Physics is probably one of the hardest majors at Uni and there are far higher demand majors that you can do that require less work eg. computer science.
It’s high demand for teaching.
The course I’m doing is a teaching degree.
But yea idk maybe I’ll end up with some other career pathway and I could follow biochemistry. What jobs can you get using biochemistry?
 

jazz519

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I am someone who is doing a Chemistry major at UNSW and previously I was doing a physics minor with that which I then later swapped to mathematics minor, because of the amount of time commitment each of the subject areas require such as labs, tutorials and lectures.

These degrees are no joke extremely grueling probably some of the most time consuming and difficult degrees based on what workload I had vs my friends who were doing degrees in things like the engineering or business. They are degrees where if you need to be doing consistent work as most of the assessments are in the form of in person things like labs, mid-semester exam and final exam. There is very little submit a project you worked on for a few weeks or essay kind of thing. So you are consistently submitting things every few days such as lab reports or exam assignments. Firstly, a lot of the work is individual based such as the labs, so you have to be self-motivated as there is not much group work. What you learn in HSC physics and chemistry, is not really a proper representation of the kinds of things you will be doing at uni. HSC is more of a basic introduction where you do problems and don't really go too much into the actual workings behind why certain things are occurring. In uni both those majors are centered around a fundamental understanding behind concepts which is necessary to succeed in these subjects.

You said the physics is in high demand, in general the science degrees are not in high demand for employability especially for just an undergrad degree. You have to really be passionate about the subjects, as most of the jobs you can do within Australia are somewhat limited to things like research, teacher, working in a industrial plant and environment monitoring for chemistry. Physics is similar in terms of the research being the main thing that people with the undergrad degree do. Most people doing the undergrad for the sciences only, will end up going into doing a PhD as even for doing the research you need that qualification. So it's not like a short term degree plan where you do 4 years and it's over.

Physics in HSC is not very similar to the uni physics. HSC physics is kind of like you do some simple calcs but mostly are writing based questions. At uni the whole exam was basically applying maths to physics problems, with the occasional short explanation but still based mostly on justifying based on equations and linking to physics principles. So if you are thinking of this one you want to probably have a look at some of the content and maths used first by looking up stuff from unis to see how it's different to HSC. This is because especially in 2nd year onwards you require a strong foundation in mathematics such as calculus and complex numbers which is not taught in high school physics. If you have done ext 1 maths in high school and are at a band 6 level then you can probably manage the level of maths but it requires quiet a bit of work. Ideally you want to have done ext 2 maths, but as mentioned if you are strong in ext 1 then can probably still pick up the concepts. With 2 unit maths only basically going to be impossible in my opinion. @Drdusk can probably explain the level of maths and stuff a bit more. Labs here are relatively okay in difficulty in terms of performing them as you are mostly using machines to collect data on certain phenomenon. Most of the work for the labs lies in the analysis of the data.

Chemistry in HSC is somewhat similar for the first year of chemistry at uni. The maths load is not that much, you will still have do the first year math courses at uni so 2 unit maths and ext 1 maths is probably desired, but relatively speaking it's more focused on the understanding and there is different types of problems vs physics. It doesn't mean the degree is easier but if you are not someone very strong at mathematics it may be a better choice. After 1st year, the content difficulty level really steps up. This is because 1st year the courses are more general in terms of not only chemistry majors do them, people such as students doing biology or medicinal chemistry also do those subjects. After that though a lot of people struggle in the courses such as organic chemistry due to the large amount of content you need to be able to memorise but also be able to explain why it's occurring and apply those concepts learnt to unseen examples. So it has a difficulty in another sense vs physics. Labs in chemistry are more difficult in my experience compared to physics as you need to be proficient in a large amount of different synthetic techniques and equipment, but if you ask the lab demos for tips, over time with experience you will pick these up and get better at them.

Basically it's hard to compare their difficulty as both require different skills, so you will just have to choose something based on what your skills are more closer to.
 
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Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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I am someone who is doing a Chemistry major at UNSW and previously I was doing a physics minor with that which I then later swapped to mathematics minor, because of the amount of time commitment each of the subject areas require such as labs, tutorials and lectures.

These degrees are no joke extremely grueling probably some of the most time consuming and difficult degrees based on what workload I had vs my friends who were doing degrees in things like the engineering or business. They are degrees where if you need to be doing consistent work as most of the assessments are in the form of in person things like labs, mid-semester exam and final exam. There is very little submit a project you worked on for a few weeks or essay kind of thing. So you are consistently submitting things every few days such as lab reports or exam assignments. Firstly, a lot of the work is individual based such as the labs, so you have to be self-motivated as there is not much group work. What you learn in HSC physics and chemistry, is not really a proper representation of the kinds of things you will be doing at uni. HSC is more of a basic introduction where you do problems and don't really go too much into the actual workings behind why certain things are occurring. In uni both those majors are centered around a fundamental understanding behind concepts which is necessary to succeed in these subjects.

You said the physics is in high demand, in general the science degrees are not in high demand for employability especially for just an undergrad degree. You have to really be passionate about the subjects, as most of the jobs you can do within Australia are somewhat limited to things like research, teacher, working in a industrial plant and environment monitoring for chemistry. Physics is similar in terms of the research being the main thing that people with the undergrad degree do. Most people doing the undergrad for the sciences only, will end up going into doing a PhD as even for doing the research you need that qualification. So it's not like a short term degree plan where you do 4 years and it's over.

Physics in HSC is not very similar to the uni physics. HSC physics is kind of like you do some simple calcs but mostly are writing based questions. At uni the whole exam was basically applying maths to physics problems, with the occasional short explanation but still based mostly on justifying based on equations and linking to physics principles. So if you are thinking of this one you want to probably have a look at some of the content and maths used first by looking up stuff from unis to see how it's different to HSC. This is because especially in 2nd year onwards you require a strong foundation in mathematics such as calculus and complex numbers which is not taught in high school physics. If you have done ext 1 maths in high school and are at a band 6 level then you can probably manage the level of maths but it requires quiet a bit of work. Ideally you want to have done ext 2 maths, but as mentioned if you are strong in ext 1 then can probably still pick up the concepts. With 2 unit maths only basically going to be impossible in my opinion. @Drdusk can probably explain the level of maths and stuff a bit more. Labs here are relatively okay in difficulty in terms of performing them as you are mostly using machines to collect data on certain phenomenon. Most of the work for the labs lies in the analysis of the data.

Chemistry in HSC is somewhat similar for the first year of chemistry at uni. The maths load is not that much, you will still have do the first year math courses at uni so 2 unit maths and ext 1 maths is probably desired, but relatively speaking it's more focused on the understanding and there is different types of problems vs physics. It doesn't mean the degree is easier but if you are not someone very strong at mathematics it may be a better choice. After 1st year, the content difficulty level really steps up. This is because 1st year the courses are more general in terms of not only chemistry majors do them, people such as students doing biology or medicinal chemistry also do those subjects. After that though a lot of people struggle in the courses such as organic chemistry due to the large amount of content you need to be able to memorise but also be able to explain why it's occurring and apply those concepts learnt to unseen examples. So it has a difficulty in another sense vs physics. Labs in chemistry are more difficult in my experience compared to physics as you need to be proficient in a large amount of different synthetic techniques and equipment, but if you ask the lab demos for tips, over time with experience you will pick these up and get better at them.

Basically it's hard to compare their difficulty as both require different skills, so you will just have to choose something based on what your skills are more closer to.
Thanks for the reply, really opened my eyes on the situation. Could please help me out some more

For physics, physics teachers are in demand right know, with the government offering scholarships for physics teachers only. But as you mentioned it’s going to be very hard to learn physics

My course has the following
3 years of bachelor of science, In which I chose 2 sciences to specialise in
1.5 years of master of teaching.
Is the physics in this 3 Year course just as difficult as you mentioned? Or is it similar to the hsc, as the course helps you teach hsc physics.

But I’m also worried about being employed as a teacher, as the jobs may be low. And as you mentioned a science degree doesn’t really give me many other options.
 

idkkdi

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Thanks for the reply, really opened my eyes on the situation. Could please help me out some more

For physics, physics teachers are in demand right know, with the government offering scholarships for physics teachers only. But as you mentioned it’s going to be very hard to learn physics

My course has the following
3 years of bachelor of science, In which I chose 2 sciences to specialise in
1.5 years of master of teaching.
Is the physics in this 3 Year course just as difficult as you mentioned? Or is it similar to the hsc, as the course helps you teach hsc physics.

But I’m also worried about being employed as a teacher, as the jobs may be low. And as you mentioned a science degree doesn’t really give me many other options.
if it's BSC (Physics), it's going to be hard lol.
 

jazz519

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Thanks for the reply, really opened my eyes on the situation. Could please help me out some more

For physics, physics teachers are in demand right know, with the government offering scholarships for physics teachers only. But as you mentioned it’s going to be very hard to learn physics

My course has the following
3 years of bachelor of science, In which I chose 2 sciences to specialise in
1.5 years of master of teaching.
Is the physics in this 3 Year course just as difficult as you mentioned? Or is it similar to the hsc, as the course helps you teach hsc physics.

But I’m also worried about being employed as a teacher, as the jobs may be low. And as you mentioned a science degree doesn’t really give me many other options.
Bachelor of science is basically what I am doing. My degree is bachelor of advanced science (3 years) and then honours (1 year). The level of content is probably the same.

Trying to do the degree just because of the jobs prospect is probably not a good idea if you end up not being able to perform well in the subjects. In your case I'm not sure if you did HSC physics but if you didn't and you haven't done ext 2 maths as well then that major is going to be very difficult for you

Just had a look into the subjects in each of the majors. A lot of the subjects are similar to what is in a normal science degree, so yeah it's probably going to be difficult still. There's less subjects overall vs the pure science degree, but still in the physics you need to do subjects like quantum physics and advanced calculus, which are going to be mathematically demanding. It's not the same difficulty as HSC based on what these subjects are.
 

Hivaclibtibcharkwa

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Bachelor of science is basically what I am doing. My degree is bachelor of advanced science (3 years) and then honours (1 year). The level of content is probably the same.

Trying to do the degree just because of the jobs prospect is probably not a good idea if you end up not being able to perform well in the subjects. In your case I'm not sure if you did HSC physics but if you didn't and you haven't done ext 2 maths as well then that major is going to be very difficult for you



Just had a look into the subjects in each of the majors. A lot of the subjects are similar to what is in a normal science degree, so yeah it's probably going to be difficult still. There's less subjects overall vs the pure science degree, but still in the physics you need to do subjects like quantum physics and advanced calculus, which are going to be mathematically demanding. It's not the same difficulty as HSC based on what these subjects are.
Ok then I should just stick with bio and chem
 

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